If you read page 16 of the FY20 Staff Corps O6 Promotion Board Convening Order, you’ll notice that there is a new section entitled “Recommendation for Reorder of Active-Duty Officers of Particular Merit.” This allows promotion boards to take up to 15% of the people they select and move them to the top of the promotion order if they feel they are worthy of it.
In other words, no longer will people promote based on seniority, but those who the board feels deserve it will move to the top of the list. It says:
Officers of particular merit are those officers whose records contain documented performance consistently superior to the performance of other officers recommended for promotion by this board.
That said, the promotion board could choose not to do this at all, leaving the people selected to promote based on their lineal number and seniority.